College seniors all around the country are celebrating the end of the best four year of their lives and their introduction to adulthood. But despite the buzz surrounding graduation season, they’re also facing the fact that they’re adults now, their metabolism isn’t what it used to be, and they can’t get away with midnight snacking on a slice of cheese pizza from that greasy joint down the street.
So, for those of you who are still eating like you did freshman year, here are the 10 foods you should stop eating in your 20s:
1. Instant Mac ‘n Cheese
Besides the fact that a bowl of microwavable mac ‘n cheese has zero nutritional value, it doesn’t even contain real cheese. The bright orange “cheese sauce” is actually whey, which is basically cheese waste. Take the extra 10 minutes to make homemade mac ‘n cheese, or at least throw away the cheese packet and grate your own cheddar into the bowl.
Heart disease. Weight gain. Diabetes. You’ve heard it all before. The high sugar content in that can of Coke just isn’t worth it, and there are scientific studies that actually show that soda can age you as much as smoking. Replace all your drinks with water and you’ll see how much better you feel.
3. Hot Pockets
Two years ago, it was discovered that Hot Pockets didn’t conduct proper inspection of the meat they were putting into their products. To make matters worse, the company took them off the shelves for a time because some of the meat could have come from “diseased and unsound” animals.
4. Energy Drinks
Red Bull and Monster probably got you through those all-nighters and last-minute study sessions in college, but you should probably stop mixing them with your Jäger for the sake of your heart rate and blood pressure.
5. Cold Cuts
Pre-packaged meat like salami is so convenient because it makes for a quick and easy lunch. However, research has shown that processed meats can lead to increased chances of colon cancer, heart disease, and stroke. Switch out your sad cold cut sandwich for a grilled chicken wrap or for one of these easy lunch alternatives!
6. Sugary Cereal
7. Kraft Singles
These thin yellow slices blanketed in a plastic film are a staple for grilled cheese sandwiches or a quick snack, but the FDA doesn’t even consider Kraft Singles to be a cheese. Stop eating Kraft Singles. Instead, go to Trader Joe’s and get some $3 brie for your cheese platter for your wine and cheese nights.
8. Bagged Wine
Although bagged wine is a major key for all college parties, it should really be known as a headache-inducing drink that’s barely passable as wine and will definitely look out of place when you bring it to a dinner party in your 20s. So ditch the Franzia and try to learn about different wines because, let’s face it, you’re better than something served in a plastic bag.
9. Microwavable Popcorn
A study from Brown University found that the stuff that makes your microwavable popcorn taste so buttery and delicious actually can cause lung cancer. Yikes.
The beacon of hope for the late-night munchies. The holy grail for all college students. You probably ate this every day for the first few months of freshman year, and your body hated you for it. A single serving of Chicken Flavor Top Ramen contains 1,820 mg of sodium, which is almost the suggested serving for a single day. Do your heart a favor by eating ramen only on cheat days.